About Us

Our team of professional ballroom dance instructors are among the upper echelons of dance internationally and exude passion for what they do.

Each professional at The Ballroom at Quail Hollow is highly-trained and qualified with years of experience, practice, and knowledge to help all individuals through their dance journey.

No matter which instructor you work with in a group class or a private lesson, you can be confident that you are receiving the best ballroom dance instruction in Charlotte when you are at The Ballroom.

Kristie Simmonds

Owner | Instructor

Kristie began her competitive career at the young age of 6 in her hometown Sydney, Australia. It became apparent early on that she had a unique talent and a passion for ballroom dancing as a career.

In January of 2012 at the prestigious United Kingdom Championships, Kristie placed 8th in the world and was ranked, with her competitive dance partner, as the number one couple representing the United States. 

After a year of successful competitions and acquiring many titles in the amateur realm, Kristie decided it was the perfect time to turn to the professional ranks.

Her first competition as a Professional was at the United Kingdom Championships 2013 where she took the highly-regarded title of the United Kingdom Rising Star Champion.

At The Blackpool Dance Festival, the most famous and prestigious dance competition in the world, Kristie became one of the World’s top 10 Professional Ballroom Dancers and Vice Champions of The Professional Rising Star. This achievement marks one of the greatest accomplishments a competitive ballroom dancer can attain.

Since then, her passion for dancing inspired her to open The Ballroom at Quail Hollow which has now become the leading ballroom dance studio in Charlotte, North Carolina. Boasting the best ballroom dance instructors and strongest following of students in the city, The Ballroom has allowed Kristie, along with her talented team, to hold events recognized by the North American dance community at large.

Kristie continues to teach, compete, and inspire all those through her love for the art of dance.

kristie simmonds



steven freinstein

Steven Freinstein

Originally from San Francisco, Steven joins us with an extensive career in the ballroom industry starting at a young age of 11. Steven has a wealth of talent and experience in ballroom, spanning across all four styles of dance, previous experience in management and studio ownership as well as a successful competitive career with his dance partner, Savannah. Steven and Savannah won major competitions such as The Charlotte DanceSport Challenge, Washington Open, Carolina Fall Classic, Open Novice finalists at the Manhattan Amateur Classic, and Gold Champions at the USA Dance National Championships. Steven inspires his students with his enthusiasm for dancing and all things ballroom.

jeremy gonzalez

Jeremy Gonzalez

New York born and of Spanish descent, Jeremy has many years of experience dancing. As a competitor and professional ballroom dance instructor, Jeremy offers a vast insight into the world of dance. His positive attitude and extensive knowledge is a winning combination bringing endless amounts of fun and excitement to the team. Dancing in events and shows, Jeremy brings his love of Ballroom Dancing to the Charlotte area. Jeremy makes sure that all of his students leave their lessons feeling accomplished and energized after learning something new and having a good laugh.

Rebecca Galyen

Rebecca, a true Southern Belle from Fredericksburg, Virginia, brings a unique talent and outstanding energy to our team. Rebecca has an impressive background in all things creative, branching from her early studies of jazz, tap, and ballet, to completing her Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts at George Mason University. Rebecca (commonly referred to as “Becca”) has combined her love for visual arts, culture, and performance in one art form, Ballroom dance. She expresses herself creatively in performance, choreography, and instruction, but most importantly in her creating and directing of our Summer and Winter Showcases. Rebecca is an integral part of The Ballroom and you won’t want to miss out on any party, event, or show she is a part of.

Roman Nagibin

Originally from Ukraine, Roman started ballroom dancing at the age of six and has over 16 years of experience teaching ballroom. Competing in both International Ballroom and Latin, Roman became the Ukrainian National Ten Dance Champion and United States Ballroom National finalist. Roman graduated from The Kharkiv State Academy of Physical Culture and Sports with a B.S. in fitness and ballroom dancing.  He has represented Ukraine in dance competitions all over the world and has found his new home in Charlotte. Though Roman focused on International Ballroom and Latin growing up, he became proficient in American style Smooth and Rhythm during his time instructing in New Jersey in 2010. Roman is passionate about being a professional dance instructor and enjoys to see his students grow in their dancing.

Savannah Kennedy

Savannah, a native Charlottean, brings an extensive background of classical training in ballet to The Ballroom. Beginning her career in Ballroom and Latin dancing at the age of 15, Savannah competed amongst the upper echelons of her division with her partner Steven in International Ballroom. Savannah and Steven attained many titles, including Open Gold Champions of Washington Open, Carolina Fall Classic, Manhattan Amateur Classic finalists, and USA Dance National Gold Champions and Novice finalists. Savannah is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Sociology at Davidson College. When she’s not studying, Savannah enjoys helping organize and produce events at The Ballroom and creating exciting new ways for students to be a part of the dance community.

David Semken

David began his competitive career in Australia at the age of 9. With over 30 years of experience in the Ballroom Dancing Industry, David comes with an impressive list of achievements including Two Times  Professional Standard Dutch Champion, Coach to Blackpool Champions in Ballroom and Latin, Top 16 at Blackpool Dance Festival in Professional Standard, among many more accomplishments.
David’s career has been broad and expansive, living in and representing England, America and The Netherlands. David also has a B.S. in Health Science, Education and Bio-mechanics.
David has been involved with the famous “Dancing with the Stars!” Some of the Professional Dancers on “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have been students of David’s.
David lives and breathes dancing and loves to share his passion for dance with all who he meets.

Courtney Semken

Courtney joins us originally from Sydney, Australia and now calls Charlotte, home. Courtney’s extensive career in Ballroom Dancing began at age 8 and culminated in Courtney becoming a multiple Australian champion. Courtney brings with her a wealth of talent and experience to The Ballroom at Quail Hollow. She has competed and instructed for over 20 years and enjoys sharing her knowledge and love for dance with students.Courtney has also worked in the film industry alongside Baz Luhrman and the choreographer of Moulin Rouge on the film ‘Australia’ as both, a choreographer and performer. Courtney believes Ballroom Dancing is for everyone – young and old, beginner to advanced. She works tirelessly to create a fun and friendly atmosphere for her students to grow, learn and share the joy of dancing.

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